Everbody Dies, Even Steve Jobs.

5 Oct

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, a day after the latest iPhone incarnation debuted without his famous black turtleneck and friendly smirk by its shiny side. Jobs was a veritable innovator, visionary, and, in my opinion, a genius.

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 in San Francisco, California to Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian Muslim immigrant, and Joanne Schieble, though later adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California.  While in high school, Jobs attended after-school lectures at Hewlett-Packard, where he would eventually land a summer job and meet his future business partner, Steve Wozniak. Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, though he dropped out after only one semester. He continued to audit classes while sleeping on the couches of his friends, and one class he audited, a calligraphy class, would help Jobs to shape the creative vision of Apple, Inc.

Jobs founded Apple Computer, Inc. on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, alongside Steve Wozniak and the little-known Ronald Wayne, who would voluntarily sell his share in the company for a mere $2,300.  Jobs and Wozniak built their first machine, the Apple I, to fulfill an order made by a local computer store known as The Byte Shop.  The original Apple I sold for $666.66, and would lead to the creation of several innovative machines that would change computing forever.  The Apple II and Apple III debuted in 1977 and 1980, respectively, but many Americans would first encounter Apple computers when the Macintosh debuted in 1984.

As a young elementary school student in Kingwood, Texas, I recall learning how to use a computer on a Macintosh. I first typed on a Mac, played Oregon Trail on a Mac, and accidentally hit the escape button on a Mac. After moving to Colorado, all the computers in the schools I attended continued to happen to be Macs. When I entered NYU as a freshman, Apple, Inc. dominated the education world – though really, just the entire world.

In 1985, Steve Jobs left Apple to co-found Pixar.  When he returned to Apple in 1997, nothing in the world of computing would ever be the same again.  After Apple, Inc. introduced the multicolored iMac in 1998, the new Apple revolution unfolded.  In 2001, Jobs introduced the iPod, which would lead to the creation of the MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and a new series of iMacs.  The founding of the Apple Store in 2001 would cement Apple as a technology powerhouse.  All of the new products introduced by Jobs would continue to boast an increasingly simple yet beautiful design aesthetic. As a college student who had the honor of working as an Apple Campus Rep on the most Mac-friendly campus in the United States, the Apple revolution was underway.

In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.  Though pancreatic cancer typically has a very poor prognosis, Jobs continued to work for Apple, appearing at keynotes to introduce new products. Wearing his signature St. Croix mock neck turtle and Levi’s, Jobs introduced every major new Apple product with a signature style that no individual will likely replicate in the future.

When Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, he left behind a legacy that is both beautiful and controversial.  He was the purveyor of simplicity in technology, yet he was also the head of an empire that many may view as the source of evil. The controversy of how Apple products are made – primarily in Chinese factories at the hands of young laborers – will likely continue to grow in the wake of his death.  However, Apple, Inc. is now one of the most profitable companies in the world, with a revenue of $65.3 billion in 2010.

I could not imagine a proper life as a creative and artist without the help of Apple. Most of my peers in the creative field depend on Apple as a source of help with their work, and I intend to continue my use of Apple products for years to come.

Steve Jobs made a living doing what he enjoyed, and it is this simple action that will guide any person to success.  As Jobs described the search for one’s “dream job”: “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

Pour one out for Steve Jobs.

3 Responses to “Everbody Dies, Even Steve Jobs.”

  1. Valerie Marulli October 6, 2011 at 10:25 PM #

    Heather, this was a extremely well thought out tribute to Steve, this shows that

    you are maturing as a writer.


    • Robert October 8, 2011 at 5:53 PM #

      Yeah I agree, Motley Crue is one of the greatest live shows ever! And I’ll never forget Ozzy at Red Rocks in 89.

      • fixedair October 8, 2011 at 6:07 PM #

        Thanks for your insight, David.

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